propelled through dialogue with an ecumenical range of mystical masters.
The dynamism of fortune is so complex, the expressions of vocation so crazily indirect, that, here I was, about to fulfill a dream I had first nurtured as a teenager whose fellow teenager mocked me out of the vision. A number of surreptitious shots followed without anyone observing my calmly determined activity.
The outcome of the fortuitous photographic encounter is here presented as a mystical progression inspired by a sudden glimpse like that of Kafka's character in The Trial, who, after interminable waiting for admission, perceives a ray of light from beyond the gates of the Law, an unfolding culminating in the spirit of the Islamic mystic who encounters the Holy One, only "to perceive you still veiled".
"Reveal your presence clearly
"I said to her, 'Look at the one who seeks to sit with you and desires to be intimate with you.' ... Then she shone [ cf., tajallī ] to me a truth of her beauty and I was overwhelmed with passion. I was felled before her and the moment overcame me. When I recovered again after fainting, with trembling shoulder blades from fear (khashya), she knew that knowledge of her had arrived, and she ... sat.
I said to her, 'Show me some of your mysteries, so that I would be one to transcribe your beauties.' She said, 'Observe the sectioned segments of my [ flowing form] and the ordered arrangement of my shape and you will find what you are asking of me to be imprinted throughout me, for I am neither a mukallim [ who speaks for herself ] nor a kalīm [ who speaks for another ], and my knowledge is not anything but me, and my Substantive (dhāt) is not different from my names (nouns). I am knowledge, the known, and the one who knows. I am the ḥikma (wisdom), the muḥkam (the fount of wisdom secured from ambiguity), and the ḥakīm (who decides wisely).'"Ibn al-ʿArabī, Futūḥāt al-Makkīya, The Meccan Illuminations. Translated by Eric Winkel. Edited by changing masculine pronouns to feminine.
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